Sony has unveiled two new flagship smartphones during its special Xperia Product Announcement virtual event which was held earlier today. The new phones are successors to last year’s high-end models and, as per Sony’s traditional naming convention, are simply known as the Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III.
Design-wise both models mostly retain the same look as their predecessors; complete with a small front-facing camera on the thin bezel above their displays, a side mounted fingerprint sensor, a dedicated shutter button for photography, dual stereo speakers, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a USB-C port on the bottom for charging and data transfer. The duo is also dust and water resistant with a rating of IP65/68.
Flipping both devices over, you’ll find that the only noticeable element that differentiates the newer phones from last year’s release is the addition of a periscope sensor to the rear camera array. More on that later.
Being the largest of the two, the Sony Xperia 1 III features a flat 6.5-inch 4K OLED panel with the signature 21:9 aspect ratio, HDR support, 120Hz refresh rate, and screen protection via Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. Under the hood of the phone is the Snapdragon 888 flagship processor, paired with 12GB of RAM and an internal storage capacity of up to 512GB. Powering it is a 4,500mAh battery with 30W fast charging support via USB-C, which Sony claims is able to top-up 50% charge in just 30 minutes. In addition, it also comes with wireless charging capability, but the brand did not specify its supported speed.
Imaging-wise, on the back of the Xperia 1 III is a quad-camera setup with ZEISS T* coated lenses. This consists of a 12MP 1/1.7-inch sensor with OIS for its main shooter, a 12MP 1/2.6-inch for its ultra-wide, a new 12MP 1/2.9-inch telephoto shooter with Dual Pixel PDAF and OIS support, and a 0.3MP TOF 3D depth sensor. What’s special about the new telephoto is its periscope capability which enables zooming in at 70mm (~3x) and 105mm (~5x) optically, and up to 300mm digitally. Meanwhile, housed in the upper bezel of the phone’s display is an 8MP selfie camera.
Next up is the Xperia 5 III. The second Sony flagship comes with a smaller 6.1-inch Full HD OLED display with a 21:9 aspect ratio, 120Hz refresh rate, and Gorilla Glass 6 protection. Much like the more beefier model, it also comes with a Snapdragon 888 SoC but differs slightly in terms of memory configuration – the phone is only offered with 8GB RAM and up to 256GB of internal storage. It also comes with the same battery capacity and wired charging speed as its flagship sibling, but lacks wireless charging capability.
Despite only featuring a triple camera setup, all three shooters on this model are the same as those found on the Xperia 1 III, with the only thing missing being the TOF 3D depth sensor. Similarly, the handset’s front-facing camera is an 8MP shooter as well.
It’s also worth noting that Sony has also carried the Heat Suppression power control feature from last year’s models over to the new Xperia smartphones. Found under Game Mode, this function basically enables the phones to rely on the USB charger for power instead of using the onboard battery during gaming sessions. At the same time, this mode also prevents the battery from being charged, therefore reducing the amount of heat generated.
The Xperia 1 III is offered in Frosted Black and Frosted Purple colour options, while the Xperia 5 III is only available in Green. Sony has confirmed that both flagship smartphones will arrive in Malaysia later this year, with the Xperia 1 III expected to launch locally in July and the Xperia 5 III much later in September. Unfortunately, pricing will only be announced during their respective launch dates.